Alex Proyas sure likes his trippy cosmologies. The director’s last film, Knowing, got downright biblical in its vision of worlds destroyed and worlds renewed. His next film, Gods of Egypt, opens this Friday — and as you can see in a new clip, it features a vision of the cosmos that is part ancient mythology and part “sci-fi fantasy”.
That latter term is the label given to the film by Nerdist, the website that posted the clip, which does not seem to be embeddable. As you can see, the sun god Ra (Geoffrey Rush) is on some sort of “spaceship” that appears to be pulling the sun above the Earth — and the Earth itself is depicted as a flat slab floating in space:
This is reminiscent of an image from another Proyas film, 1998’s Dark City:
It also reminds me of some of the cosmological issues that come up when people try to interpret the creation accounts in Genesis — and that, in turn, reminds me of this bit from my interview with Noah director Darren Aronofsky two years ago:
One question I’m intrigued by is the question of cosmology. Some would argue that the early chapters of Genesis follow a very different cosmology than what we’re used to — a flat earth with fountains of the deep and so forth — and when I saw the trailer and saw those geysers shooting up, I thought that was fantastic, but then the trailer also showed a spherical Earth, and so, how was it combining those two things? What principle were you following there?
DA: Look, I think, you know– That’s a very very very good question. I never really perceived that, when I read Genesis, that it was a flat world. Where does it say that it’s a flat world?
It’s one of those things that biblical scholars have inferred from references to either pillars of the earth or references to the windows opening in the heavens, the canopy.
DA: That’s interesting. See, I always look at that as more, you know, it’s poetry, it’s beautiful writing, and so it’s a way of describing it. I didn’t really lock it down to sort of changing how we perceive the planet now. But that would have been a really interesting way to go, actually. If we had thought of that, we would have been like — because we were trying to invent the prediluvian world — we could have said, “Hey, the world was flat back then, so how are we going to represent that?” (laughs) We actually might have done something with that if we’d talked to you beforehand–
DA: –and then actually had the wrapping of the planet, which could have been an amazing CG type of moment, but we didn’t run into that, unfortunately, those ideas.
What other trippy cosmic images will Gods of Egypt have? We’ll find out on Friday.
February 24 update: The clip is now on YouTube, as are three other clips: